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A substance that tastes bitter to some people but is tasteless to others. The ability to taste it is thought to be an autosomal dominant trait. Phenylthiourea contains the N-C=S group on which the taste peculiarity apparently depends; goitrogenic or antithyroid substances (for example, thiourea and thiouracil), which also contain this group, possess the same property with respect to taste. See: taste deficiency.
Synonym(s): phenylthiocarbamide


(fĕn′əl-thī′ō-kär′bə-mīd′, -kär-băm′īd, fē′nəl-)
n. Abbr. PTC
A crystalline compound, C7H8N2S, that tastes intensely bitter to people with a specific dominant gene and is used to test for the presence of the gene. Also called phenylthiourea.




A chemical used in studying medical genetics to detect the presence of a marker gene. About 70% of the population inherit the ability to note the taste of phenylthiocarbamide to be extremely bitter. To the remainder of the population, it is tasteless. The gene for tasting is dominant and is expressed in both homozygous and heterozygous individuals.
Synonym: phenylthiourea
References in periodicals archive ?
The chemical in question is phenylthiocarbamide, or PTC.